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Vivint Solar Introduces Solar Leasing In Florida

One of America’s leading residential solar providers, Vivint Solar, has announced this week it will begin making available solar leases to its customers in Florida, following approval by the Florida Public Service Commission.

One of America’s leading residential solar providers, Vivint Solar, has announced this week it will begin making available solar leases to its customers in Florida, following approval by the Florida Public Service Commission.

Vivint Solar announced on Wednesday that, following approval from the Florida Public Service Commission, it will begin providing solar leases to homeowners in Florida. Solar leases will now be immediately available to residents in the St. Petersburg and Orlando areas and new customers in other markets across Florida may also have the option to qualify for a solar lease.

The move comes almost immediately after the Commission issued a declaratory statement affirming that Vivint Solar can offer solar leasing plans without crossing the line and being constituted as a utility. Specifically, according to the declaratory statement (PDF):

For the reasons set forth above, we hereby grant Vivint’s Petition for Declaratory Statement and declare: (1) Vivint’s proposed residential solar equipment lease, as described by its petition, will not be deemed to constitute a sale of electricity; (2) Offering its solar equipment lease, as described in its petition, to consumers in Florida will not cause Vivint to be deemed a public utility; and (3) The residential solar equipment lease described in its petition will not subject Vivint or Vivint’s customer-lessees to regulation by this Commission.

Further, “It is therefore, ORDERED by the Florida Public Service Commission, that Vivint’s Petition for Declaratory Statement is granted as set forth in the body of this order.”

“We appreciate the commission for clarifying its position and removing any stumbling blocks to the expansion of customer choice for solar power in Florida,” said Vivint Solar CEO David Bywater. “Our solar lease product allows many more customers to benefit from clean, renewable energy, and we are excited that our new Sunshine State customers can adopt solar at zero down for the first time.”

Vivint Solar’s expansion in Florida follows several similarly big announcements to close out the month of August.

Early in the month, Vivint Solar announced that it was expanding into the state of Illinois a day before it also announced that it had signed a partnership agreement with an unnamed but “leading” and “one of the largest” homebuilders in the country. The agreement focuses on Southern California in advance of California’s recently-announced decision to mandate solar PV installations atop all new residential buildings starting in 2020.

A couple of days later, Vivint Solar also published its second-quarter earnings and revealed that it had closed an industry-first financing vehicle worth $327 million that is intended to support the development of 95 megawatts (MW) worth of future solar energy installations.

“This delivers another landmark financing transaction for the company in 2018, and we look forward to using this vehicle to continue to accelerate solar power adoption across the country,” said David Bywater. “We are grateful for the continued support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in this transaction and the faith and trust that investors continue to place in the future of our business.  Hannon Armstrong’s programmatic investment is a key piece of the capital structure in this transaction.”

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